Tackle These Home Improvement Projects Before Putting Your Home on the Market

Sellers should focus on kitchens and baths before trying to sell their homes.

Getting your home ready to sell can be a stressful and daunting task. If you have a limited amount of time and money to update your home before you put it on the market, there are certain home improvement projects you will need to focus on. While TV shows push fixer upper homes and DIY projects, the reality is that buyers want homes they can move into without doing any major projects. Many people don’t save more money than what they need for their new home’s down payment—they often aren’t looking to make major updates after they move in.

With so many homes on the market, buyers can be choosy, which is why fixing your place to match their interest should be a top priority. Hayley Westhoff, real estate broker at The MacPherson Westhoff Group, explained,As a general statement, kitchens and baths sell homes.”

An updated, nice looking kitchen is what the experts recommend any seller focus on first. “Kitchen remodeling should always be No. 1 in my opinion,” said Matt Laricy, real estate broker at Americorp Real Estate. “More people are cooking, hanging out and entertaining in the kitchen area. It’s the focal part of the home and parts of the kitchen can easily look outdated.”

Next on a seller’s list should be the master bathroom. Updating your bathroom’s cabinets, fixtures or tile can go a long way in a buyer’s mind. Then, adding a touch of luxury will turn heads and improve the life of your home.

Because buyers are so focused on the look of a home, landscaping is another area that sellers should be concerned with. “Curb appeal is important in more suburban areas as it is a buyer's first impression and what can bring them through the door,” said Westhoff.

After you’ve focused on specific areas of your home, you should consider the floors throughout your home. Buyers nowadays days prefer nice hardwood floors over carpet or unfinished floors since updating is no easy task. If you’re not experienced in this area, it is not a project to do yourself since it can potentially lead to a great return on investment.

“Refinishing hardwood floors is by far the biggest bang for your buck. At about $1.50 per square feet, you will get a significant return on investment, not to mention your place will sell much faster, and time is money,” said Westhoff.

All in all, buyers want a home that looks nice, and they often overlook bigger ticket items that can in the long run cost more. While a new roof or furnace are more practical, expensive items to update, they may go unnoticed at the time when you are selling your home.

Don’t have a lot of money to update your home and not into the DIY trend? Stick to cleaning and getting rid of all the items that have piled up over the years before you sell. Westhoff explains, “What sellers can do to greatly improve the showability of the home is declutter, declutter, declutter! I tell my clients that every box of clutter that they take out is $300 dollars in their pockets.”